GOTHENBURG, Sweden -- Volkswagen is focusing initial marketing efforts for its ID3 battery-powered compact hatchback on “early adopters” of EV technology, VW brand marketing chief Jochen Sengpiehl said.
VW has started a pre-booking marketing campaign for an ID3 launch edition but deliveries will not start until the middle of next year. The long lead time will be used to learn from customers why they want to buy the car and how VW can improve its marketing to prepare the "right product for the right people at the right time," Sengpiehl said. "We have to make it right," he said.
Potential customers can register for an early production slot by paying a 1,000-euro registration deposit, fully refundable until a binding order is placed, VW said in a statement earlier this month.
The Golf-sized ID3, which for now will be sold only in Europe, is the first model from VW Group’s MEB platform for mass-market electric cars, which is a key component in the automaker’s goal to become the global EV leader, ousting Tesla. Other models including SUVs will follow for the VW, Audi, Skoda and Seat brands.
Volkswagen aims to sell up to 150,000 electric vehicles on the MEB platform by the end of 2020. Production of the launch edition will start at the end of this year at VW's revamped EV factory in Zwickau, Germany.
VW has plans to sell electric cars based on the MEB platform in China and the U.S., but it has not been decided yet which product goes where and when, Sengpiehl told the Automotive News Europe Congress here on Wednesday. VW’s goal is to "democratize e-mobility," he said.
The ID range also will be an important lever for VW to quickly burnish its environmental credibility, Sengpiehl said.
Sengpiehl is leading a wide-ranging redefinition of the VW brand identity, which he described as "the biggest transformation of our company." It will include a new logo and a new digital hub that will "bundle all touch points."
The customer will have his/her own Volkswagen identity in the same way he/she has an Apple profile. Through this profile the company will offer services to the car owner and gather data.
Traditional dealers will be connected to the hub and keep their role as "physical touchpoints," Sengpiehl said.